[lug] Career advice

David Morris lists at morris-clan.net
Fri Jan 1 10:49:06 MST 2010

On Fri, Jan 1, 2010 at 08:03, Rob Nagler <nagler at bivio.biz> wrote:
> Michael J. Hammel writes:
>> Become a software architect.  We have plenty of people who can write
>> code.  We don't have nearly enough who can define how systems should be
>> built.  That's because most engineers are terrible communicators.  And
>> software architects can't afford to be the same.
> I strongly agree with "this is so much fun".  It's really great to
> hear you (Michael) are having fun.  I think that's the most important
> thing in any career path.
> I have to disagree with the concept of Software Architecture as a
> career.  I don't think it's a healthy career path.

I may be missing the point of your argument, but I disagree that
Software Architecture is an unhealthy career path.

A good software architect is critical to the success of a large
project, but many software projects don't have anyone with the
appropriate skill set to architect a large software system.  Every
successful software project has such a person, though the managers
don't always realize it.

The problems described in the article you linked to comes about from
software architects who have no experience writing software and/or no
interest in writing code.  In order to be successful, the software
architect needs to have an intimate knowledge of pitfalls of various
designs and conflicting requirements, an ability to code all portions
of the software being designed, and the capability to balance the
reality of coding against long-term usefulness and customer needs.
These skills can only be obtained through years of experience working
in the trenches of software engineering on a variety of projects which
have both succeeded and failed.

Personally, I think "Software Architect" is a perfectly valid and
healthy career path if you have the natural talent for it.  Just be
aware that it isn't a career you can jump into right away, it requires
a lot of prep work.



More information about the LUG mailing list